Master regulators or lineage-specifying? Changing views on CD4+ T cell transcription factors

Academic Article


  • There is an emerging body of research demonstrating that the co-expression of key lineage-specifying transcription factors, commonly referred to as 'master regulators', affects the functional capabilities and flexibility of CD4 + T cell subsets. Here, we discuss how the natural co-expression of these lineage-specifying transcription factors has challenged the concept that the expression of a single 'master regulator' strictly establishes an absolute CD4+ T cell phenotype. Instead, it is becoming clear that the interplay between the lineage-specifying (or lineage-defining) transcription factors, including T-bet, GATA3, RORγt, BCL-6 and FOXP3, contributes to the fate and flexibility of CD4+ T cell subtypes. This in turn has led to the realization that CD4+ T cell phenotypes are more diverse than previously recognized. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Oestreich KJ; Weinmann AS
  • Start Page

  • 799
  • End Page

  • 804
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 11